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Decatur City Commission to hold organizational meeting on Jan. 3

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Decatur City Commission to hold organizational meeting on Jan. 3

Commissioners, pictured left to right, are: Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers, Lesa Mayer, Kelly Walsh, Mayor Patti Garrett, and George Dusenbury. Photo obtained via the city of Decatur

This story has been updated. 

Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 7:30 p.m. for an organizational meeting. The meeting will be held in person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, as well as Zoom.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions: 

To view the agenda, click here.

This meeting will be held in-person. Members of the public wishing to participate during either the “Public Comment” or “Requests and Petitions” portions of the meeting may attend the meeting in one of two ways:

1. Attend in-person by coming to Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street.

2. Register in advance at https://zoom.us/j/96599291949. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You may also participate by phone by calling (929) 205-6099 and entering the meeting ID (The 11-digit number shown in the Zoom registration link.)

NOTE – This meeting will utilize virtual meeting technology. We cannot guarantee it will operate as planned. If your participation must be a matter of public record, attend the meeting in person or email your comments to City Manager Andrea Arnold at [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3rd.

Members of the public may also view the live broadcast of the Decatur City Commission meeting at https://www.decaturga.com/citycommission/page/streaming-video

During the meeting, the city commission will elect the mayor and mayor pro tem for 2023. Unlike some other cities, Decatur’s mayor is selected by their fellow commissioners at the commission’s first meeting of the year. Patti Garrett currently serves as mayor and Tony Powers is the mayor pro tem. Garrett was first elected as mayor in 2016. Powers was first elected as mayor pro-tem in 2018.

Garrett was reelected in November 2021 to serve a fourth term on the city commission, representing District 2. Powers is the at-large commissioner and will be up for reelection this year.

After being reelected, Garrett said she was looking forward to making progress on major projects, addressing climate change and working on policy items.

“I’m looking forward to seeing some things take place on the continuation of what’s happening on the Legacy Park property, especially in terms of affordable housing and continuing to really activate that whole area,” Garrett said. “I really think the strides that we can take in the area of equity, inclusion and climate change are going to wrap around everything else that we do in the next four years. I think those priorities are clear on the part of our community and also clear on the part of the elected city commission.”

Additionally, the city commission will appoint the city attorney, designate the municipal court chief judge and appoint municipal court judges. The board will also consider renewing City Manager Andrea Arnold’s contract.

A copy of her is posted on the city’s website. The city commission increased Arnold’s salary from $170,000 to $178,500 in June 2021. Under the terms of the new contract, her base salary will be $187,000. The two-year agreement expires on Dec. 31, 2024.

In other business, the city commission will consider amending an agreement with Thrive EDS, LLC for the dedication of the New Street extension and accepting the right-of-way for the project.

“The amendment is intended to 1) reflect a change of ownership for the project and 2) allow the City to accept the right-of-way
prior to full completion of construction,” Decatur Project Civil Engineer Jennings Bell wrote in a memo.

The board approved the original right-of-way in November 2019. Thrive began construction in January 2020, but sold all of its assets, including this project, to Toll Brothers in February 2020.

“Several streetscape items on the west side of the street are still incomplete at this time,” Bell said. “Acceptance of incomplete work would deviate from the original agreement, which requires completion of all work in the right-of-way before acceptance. The proposed amendment will allow acceptance in an incomplete state. Without acceptance at this time, the street would remain private property and dwellings on the east side of the street, that are otherwise nearing completion, would not meet the City’s zoning requirements for frontage on a public street and thus could not be occupied. The developer’s sales contracts have made future residents of all six homes dependent on the City’s acceptance of the street.”

If the amendment is approved, the remaining streetscape work would be finished at the same time as the units on the west side of the street. The work is expected to be done in about one year.

Editor and Publisher Dan Whisenhunt contributed to this article. 

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